I’ve always said that University is about SO MUCH more than ‘getting a job’, and the students are not ‘customers’ … this article brings that out:
Academics have been “seduced” into using business-speak to defend higher education, according to leading scholars and politicians.
Speaking at a conference titled Universities under Attack, academics called for a “fightback” in which the “neoliberal” language of “employability” and “value for money” are ditched in favour of advocating higher education for its own sake.
Arguing for universities’ economic value meant “bowing down” before a flawed conception of education, argued Baroness Kennedy, principal of Mansfield College, Oxford.
“We have to reignite the language of what education is all about,” she told delegates at the event at King’s College London on 26 November, which was sponsored by the London Review of Books, the New York Review of Books and Times Higher Education.
“The whole business of learning is about something greater – it’s not just about having jobs.”
Decrying the “marketisation” of the academy, Baroness Kennedy said: “This is about turning ourselves into businesses. We have been seduced into the idea that there is no other way. It comes out of Hayek and Thatcher being enamoured with the free market. Big money from this ideology feeds into thinktanks in education, health and welfare. Alternative ways of thinking do not get resourced.”
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